I got into an argument with a friend a few weeks ago. I was complaining that I really didn’t like the spam that Facebook shoves into my newsfeed.
His argument was – and I paraphrase…
I don’t mind the occasional advert – between the Farmville notifications and “inspirational” quotes, I barely notice them.
For me, this was quite the shocker. I don’t see game invitations. I rarely see “spiritual” messages, or ill-informed racist rants. Why? Not because my friends are better than his – but because I make judicious use of the block button.
Look, we all have a friend / relative / former lover who we have to follow on Facebook. Just because we want to see photos of their new kitten, doesn’t mean we have to share their taste in “LOL FUNNY FORWARD TO EVERYONE!!!11!!” posts.
Here’s how I do it.
A good friend – otherwise sensible in all her endeavours – has taken to posting nonsense from a site the I personally cannot stand.
No need to break our friendship. See that ˇ in the corner? Give it a tap!
Right, let’s get rid of everything from that site.
Why yes, yes I am sure that no good will come of reading “10 dogs who totally look like celebs (number 7 will blow your mind!)”
A fair question.
You can opt to feed the machine or not. Either way, the content will never blight you again.
Suppose you feel like you have made a tragic mistake and you won’t be able to bond with your friends without having consumed the same memetically infested tripe as them?
On the main Facebook site (this won’t work on mobile) you can edit everything you’ve blocked.
You can then click the little X to restore them.
Note, this setting lists all the Friends, Groups, and Pages you’ve blocked.
Bizarely, it only lists some of the apps that you’ve blocked. The rest live at https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=blocking
And, just like that, you can pretend that the people you’re friends with on Facebook are normal and well adjusted members of society.
Of course, filtering reality like that may make life interesting when you meet them outside of Facebook…